Teachers say ‘yes’ to new contracts
Teachers in both the United South Central and Blue Earth Area School Districts voted ‘yes’ to new two year contracts last week
USC School District
Superintendent Jerry Jensen says the district’s 56 teachers approved a two-year contract retroactive to July 1.
“It was a fairly solid, firm vote by the association. It wasn’t an issue of one vote,” Jensen says of the vote held Dec. 11 and 14.
Board member Kathy Krebsbach says it was the first contract negotiations she has been involved with.
“It was difficult, but it was much more cordial and pleasant than I expected,” she says.
Under the new contract, there will be no salary schedule increases but step and lane adjustments are expected. The total benefit package hike for the two years is 3.5 percent.
The ‘big issue’ was health insurance. The monthly premium for a sin-gle plan will go up $38.50 and for family coverage it will increase $102.50.
Jensen called the contract fair and good for the district all-around. He credits the teachers’ association and the board’s negotiating team for working in the district’s best interest.
“They understood the value of having a financially sound district. There was consideration given for what is best for the kids and running a district,” Jensen says.
BEA School District
The Blue Earth Area teachers voted last Wednesday evening to accept their two-year contract proposal.
Now it is up to the BEA School Board to ratify it. That will probably be done at a special school board meeting on Monday night at 6:30 p.m.
The contract covers the current school year of 2009-10, as well as next year, 2010-11.
Superintendent Dale Brandsoy says he is happy the negotiations have come to a successful conclusion.
“We have a state deadline of getting this done by January 15,” he says. “Or we face a penalty of $25 per pupil unit.”
No details on the contract, or salary numbers, were released until after the board meets to ratify.